using tasks to motivate teenager speaking

Topics: Teaching English as a foreign language, Language education, English language Pages: 18 (4687 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Table of Contents

We all know that learning a language is a combination of many different skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Meanwhile, speaking skill is considered to be the most difficult one. The fact is that the majority of foreigners studying English include Vietnamese people are afraid to speak and communicate directly by English even many who have learned English to advanced levels. This seems the common problem in Vietnam. High school’s students (almost teenagers) lack of the environment to practice English. They just memorize grammar and are tested on it in examinations. Actually, in English syllabus, some lessons also use CDs to practice listening and speaking skills. However, teachers do not have enough time for students to practice because they just spend time to apply grammar, read vocabulary and do grammar exercises to prepare for the test and exam. In the other hand, lacks of resource is also a cause lead to this problem, especially in rural areas. Students just follow the way their teacher speak even it is sometimes wrong (Hieu 2011). Consequently, learning English follows these traditional methods will make students passive and ineffective in speaking English. This report will focus on using communicative approach, especially tasks, to motivate teenager speak English. First of all, the report will briefly describe some characteristics of teenager learners, so teacher can understand and know how to deal with them. Secondly, some of the reasons lead to teenage learners’ failure in speaking English will be mentioned such as peer pressure, lack of motivation, lack of support, etc. And then, the brief definition about communicative approach and tasks will be mentioned as the recommendations to motivate teenagers speak English. Four kinds of task include mechanical, meaningful, communicative and communication that focus on skills rather than form of language will be useful for teenagers in improving oral skill. In the following section, tasks will be applied in the lesson step by step. However, teachers sometimes fail to apply this method since they lack of the human resource, lack of time, funds as well as the facilities. As a result, dificulties still remain unexpectly.

2.1 Introduction
Teaching English for teenagers is the most challenge for most teachers. It always makes you very stressful and frustrating. At this age, students tend to be less enthusiastic in class than students in other groups. Awareness of the lives of many children has not yet completed, and their reactions are very unpredictable. They are usually forced to come to class and rarely share their thinking if teachers do not friendly enough to build close relationship with them. Furthermore, the lesson must be interesting and the environment shoul be comfortable, friendly for teenagers to enjoy and practice English. That why this report will suggest teachers using communicative approach and tasks to design activities in their lesson plan to motivate teenagers speak English.

2.2 Characteristics of the teenage learner
Piccolo (2013) said “Teenagers have a greater learning potential than that of young children but they are considerably more difficult to motivate and manage. It also takes longer to build up a trusting relationship with a teenager but once a teacher finds the correct balance of respect and authority, teaching teenagers can be a rewarding and fun-filled experience.” Firstly, teenagers often feel that they are already adults. They act to show other people that they are not children anymore. Some symbols are like smoking, drinking, dating, using make-up, etc. Therefore, they expect teachers treat them with respects and fairness (Piccolo 2013). Secondly, at this age, besides learning knowledge from school, teenagers prefer to go out to discover new things and to learn experience from the real life. Therefore, practicing, interesting and motivating lessons not only help attract...
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